TV channel, stv, has had its knuckles wrapped by the broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, for displaying, on screen, details of a competition that had actually closed.
It follows the broadcast, in June, of the daytime antiques programme, Dickinson’s Real Deal.
The thing is, it was shown on stv a week later than elsewhere in the UK, by which time an accompanying viewer competition – and the premium rate telephone number that went with it – had been and gone.
While stv displayed a caption saying the competition was closed, the telephone number was still visible.
Ofcom asked stv for its comments under its Rule 2.11 of its code of practice which states that “competitions should be conducted fairly” and “rules should be clear and appropriately made known”.
Its conclusion was that “the caption may have been insufficient in preventing viewers from attempting to enter a concluded competition” and, hence, the rule had been breached.
It continued: “We expect all broadcasters to exercise extreme caution in the use of premium rate services in programmes.”